A Quilt of Many Colors


Quilting Studio in North Carolina

Agriculturally speaking, farmers have a deep tie to many of the cultural aspects that make North Carolina a great place to be. And speaking in terms of popular culture, Vance County Farm Bureau Member Debbie “Miss Lou” Powell says there are two reasons that people quilt these days.A Quilt of Many Colors “We quilt to leave part of us behind when we go and we quilt as a creative outlet,” she says. “No one quilts for warmth anymore.”

For Powell, quilting is something she does out of love for the quilt itself, but also for the love of teaching. “It was not in my plan to be a teacher; that was God’s plan. I never knew I was a teacher, but I love it.”

Three years ago Powell opened Miss Lou’s Quilting Studio to offer a place where people could come and share their love of quilting. Today, it’s grown into a network of quilters ranging from the newest beginners to people who have been quilting for years.

“I wanted a place where people could come and be together and enjoy the camaraderie of quilting,” Powell says. “I wanted a place to promote the art of quilting through teaching and offer a place for people to finish their quilts they’ve had sitting around.”Vance County Farm Bureau Member Debbie “Miss Lou” Powell demonstrates the quilting process.

Powell noticed the need for a quilt finishing studio after people started bringing in quilt blocks they had found or had been passed down to them.
“Some of them are very old, and very valuable,” she says. “So they’ll bring them in and we’ll help them finish them.”

Powell finishes quilts for people and teaches them how to finish quilts themselves. She even rents out her mid-arm quilting machine for visitors who want to finish large quilts.

Powell says quilting is a very personal hobby for those involved. Memory quilts are popular among avid quilters and those who have never had an interest in quilts before as a way to preserve someone or something that meant a great deal to them.A Quilt of Many Colors

“It’s not always about pretty, colorful fabric,” Powell says. “You can make a quilt from anything that means something to you.”

She points to a quilt that was made by one of her older relatives. The quilt is made entirely from clothing labels. Powell speculates that the relative worked in a shop or factory where she saw those labels every day and made a quilt of them as a way to remember that part of her life.

She also recalls the story of a mother who had recently lost her young daughter and brought in scraps of her clothes for Powell to piece together into a quilt.
“It was a way for her to preserve that memory,” Powell says.

Sentiment is exactly what keeps Granville County Farm Bureau Member Cynthia Bailey interested in quilting.A Quilt of Many Colors

“My grandmother was really into quilting, but she would always quilt with big squares and have a lot of scraps left over,” Bailey says. “She was going to throw them away, but I said I’d take them and do something with them.”

Since then, Bailey has turned those fabric scraps into patchworked pieces of art.

“I love using old scraps,” she says. “It will mean something to my kids when they have children and they can say that their great-grandmother had these scraps that make up this quilt.”

Quilters have been piecing together their works of art almost as long as farmers have been working their land. For Bailey, as well as many other families, quilting is a craft that spans generations.

For Bailey, as well as many other families, quilting is a craft that spans generations. “My grandmother and I loved to work on quilts. She always loved to see what I was working on, and I liked to see what she was working on.”

And it was a family affair. Her grandmother would piece together quilt tops, and Bailey and two of her aunts would finish quilting them by hand. “We would get together to quilt it for her. I was always amazed to watch how fast my aunts could quilt by hand. I hope I can be that fast one day.”

But no matter how much time and effort go into making a quilt, for Bailey, it’s all about the quilt having meaning.

“With a quilt I made for my nephew, I told him to drag it across the floor and love on it,” she says. “Let it have meaning.”


  1. Ann Johnson

    January 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Miss Lou’s is a great place to take classes. We quilters have a great time together.

  2. Lucille Clemons

    January 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I would like to know to sign up for a class and what the cost is. Where is the school located?

  3. Sand P.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    The first image called “Quilt of Many Colors” is beautiful, but I do not recognize that pattern. I’ve been going through my books and can’t find it. What is it called? It is stunning! Thanks, Sandy

    • Cynthia Bailey

      August 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Hey,I am Cynthia Bailey the quilt is from the book Scrap Quilts. The pattern is call hexagon puzzle. It my favorite pattern.

  4. Vicki Peterson

    February 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I agree, the “Quilt of many Colors” is beautiful and an unusual pattern. I also cannot find it in my quilt books. Will you share the name and possibly the pattern? Thank you Vicki

  5. Judy Currie

    February 12, 2010 at 8:44 am

    The Quilt of Many Colors has created quite a stir in my guild. Would you know the pattern name or where we could get instructions? Where exactly are you located? Thanks sew much for the information. Judy C in NC

  6. Joyce Mitchell

    February 12, 2010 at 11:04 am

    A member of my quilt guild recognized the pattern as “Hexagon Puzzle” from the Leisure Arts publication QUICK & EASY SCRAP QUILTS.

  7. Betty Altman

    May 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Hi, I am a quilter in Little Switzerland, NC. and teach classes. One of my students showed me your artical in the Magazine and we are wondering how to get a patern for the Quilt in the Magazine…
    Also where is Vance NC?
    Tanks for your help. Betty

  8. Linda

    September 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Hi… I’d love to find a free pattern for the quilt of many colors quilt block. Any idea where I might find one? Thanks for your help.

  9. MarieJeanne Gray

    February 12, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Hi….the quilt of many colors is beautiful! Where can I buy the pattern? Thanks

  10. Rena

    May 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I would like to get a pattern of A quilt of many color How can I get one. Thanks for your help

  11. Jackie Spencer

    September 19, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Love the quilt, Quilt of many colors! Is there somewhere I can purchase the pattern or book?

  12. Nancy Murphy

    September 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Where can I get a pattern for this? Quilt of many colors.

  13. Anita Brazeau

    September 21, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    My name is anita brazeau and I live in Ottawa, Canada and would also like to know if there is any where that I could get this pattern for the Quilt of Many Colors .It is beautiful and I would really love to make it. Thanks very much.
    Anita Brazeau

    • betty doucette

      February 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Anita. I am wondering if you are the Anita I went to school with. This is Betty Doucette from PEI. Could you please e-mail me at betty_1932@msn.com. Thanks

  14. Audrey

    September 1, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I would like the quilt pattern and instructions for the Quilt of many colors that was in your magazine Jan/Feb 2010 ….would that be possible?

  15. Michele M Florence

    September 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Would love to have the star quilt on this page. Where can I get this pattern?

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